5 Dream Kitchen Must Haves



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Finally, your big kitchen remodel has the green light!!  Have you considered what the must-haves in that dream kitchen are?

Dream Kitchen

Will they fit the budget? Do they fit the overall design of the space?  Are they really going to improve how your kitchen functions?  Oh and honey, how are you going to sell these must haves to your partner without whining or fighting.  Breathe, remember the key is to find a happy medium so that everyone feels like they win.

Let me tell you, I have known my dream kitchen must-haves for years…I just never thought the dream would become my reality!!  All I can say God is good and so is my husband!!  When I sat down with Mike I thought he was going to fight me on everything.  You know the saying – if your marriage can survive a home remodel, you can survive anything. As this was our first project together, who can blame me for having these fears?  Shock and surprise, we found out that we work well together.  My approach was simple:  I backed up all my must haves with the practicality of including them in our new kitchen.  Worked like a charm.  He heard my logic and readily agreed.  No fights — well none that burned the house down, so it’s all good!!


Ambient Lighting

Ambient Lighting

A huge problem in our previous kitchen was lighting.  I wanted more natural light, ambient light, and task light – figuring out how to achieve it was a different story.

Ambient Light: general surrounding light.

The existing ceiling had linear beams that we discovered could not be removed. For a while we thought the only solution for our kitchen would be to install some type of track light with articulating bullets.  Here and now I’d like to say a huge thank you to Andy (he’s our good friend and neighbor – not to mention an amazing construction expert) for coming up with an absolutely brilliant solution!!  He made faux beams to run perpendicular with the existing beams making a coffered ceiling.  In each beam, we installed small recessed LED lights.  His genius answer to our lighting issue not only solved the problem but elevated the overall design of the space.

Natural Light: light that comes from the sun.

Natural Lighting

Natural Lighting

natural lighting from windows

Natural Lighting from Three Custom Windows

We removed a fireplace in the kitchen that was on an exterior wall enabling us to add 3 custom windows.  HUGE difference!!!!  I can not even tell you the transformation those windows made to our kitchen.

Task Light:  Light to achieve a specific task.

Task Lighting

Task Lighting

In addition, we put LED task lighting under the cabinets and goose neck sconces above the counters with no cabinets above.


Pull Out Drawers

Pull Out Drawers

Pull Out Cabinets

Pull Out Shelves

Lower cabinets can be a nightmare, you know what I mean…the stuff in the back is forgotten and never used.  Therefore, I was adamant when we met with our cabinet maker that we have every lower cabinet either be deep pull out drawers or that the shelves inside the cabinets be able to pull out.  Ultimately we did a combination of both.


Second Kitchen Sink

Second Kitchen Sink with Drinking Water Tap

Oh man, this one is a doosy!  My family of 4 would huddle around our one sink fighting for water at every meal time.  I h a t e d it!!  I want to make tea, Mike wants to make coffee and the girls want to wash fruit…how in the heck did we survive before!?!?  We were like savages at a watering hole, totally primal.  Can I tell you how much I LOVE having a second sink?  Life changing for real.  The second sink is primarily used to wash produce, drain off pots, and the drinking water tap at this sink…clear across the kitchen from the main sink I might add…wink wink.



After more than 20 years slaying the stove for my family I have soooo many gosh darn spices and seasonings, so I insisted that we come up with a designated cabinet just for them.  Apparently spice cabinets are a common request; our cabinet maker knew just what to do.  Next to the stove we now have a slender lower cabinet pull out that now contains all of the spices, seasonings, and much more.  This cabinet keeps them perfectly organized, I can read every label, and is easily accessible!!


Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse Osmosis System

Out of everything we added to our new kitchen, the Reverse Osmosis System is by far the one thing I recommend every home should have.  Drinking water in your home can add up to serious money if you are buying water bottles or have a company deliver it to you.  For us, we used a Brita water pitcher for years.  The trouble was it was always empty or needed refilling.  No one wanted to cop to leaving it empty, it’s JUST like everyone avoiding to empty the dishwasher…what’s that about!?!?  Anyway, I knew we needed to be liberated so a drinking water system was a must have for sure!!!

We went with a Reverse Osmosis System, but there are a few other options out there.  Fortunately, during the reconstruction of the kitchen’s sub-floor our plumber was also able to run a filter line across the kitchen to where the freezer would be so we could also have filtered ice cubes.  Cheers!!

No matter what your must-haves are in your new kitchen, be thoughtful about your choices, weigh the cost against the practicality, and do your research to make sure the options you choose are the best for your dream kitchen!


  1. […] way I’ll be saving money is by being my own designer and contractor for the project. As with my kitchen remodel, my good friend and construction expert Andy will help me with the more technical work like […]

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I’m a clean beauty expert, a plant-based recipe guru, a fashion maven, and a mature black woman embracing my natural hair, silver streaks and all.

Welcome, I'm Tennille Murphy